Lunar New Year in London with Kids 2023

Chinatown london Year of Rabbit Lunar New Year

Looking for ideas to celebrate Lunar New Year in London with kids? In this guide, you’ll find a list of 2023 festive events and activities for families to celebrate Lunar New Year in London. I will keep adding to this list, so do check back for more updates.

When is Lunar New Year 2023?

Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, starts with the first new moon of the year and is welcomed with a 15-day celebration in many Asian communities around the world. In 2023, the Chinese New Year falls on Sunday, 22 January, which marks the start of the year of the Rabbit.

Related: Lunar New Year books for kids

Chinatown London Chinese New Year Festivities

What’s On Lunar New Year in London with Kids

Plan your days out with this list of things to do with kids in London during the Lunar New Year 2023 festivities. Highlights include packed weekend programmes at the Museum of London Docklands and National Maritime Musuem, storytelling sessions at the National Gallery and Lunar New Year celebrations at the British Library.

Lunar New Year Night Markets at Chinatown London

16 – 18 January 2023

Three evenings of Night Markets will kickstart the Lunar New Year celebrations at Chinatown London. Running from 16 – 18 January, the Night Markets will be serving up all sorts of tasty Lunar New Year delights with 11 street food stalls. Traditional lion dances will open the ceremony from 5pm on Monday, 16 January.

Lunar New Year Chinatown London

The street food stalls at the Night Market will be open from 4pm to 10pm on Monday 16th, 3pm to 10pm on Tuesday 17th and 3pm to 10pm on Wednesday, 18th.

Check event opening times and further details at Chinatown London

Lunar New Year Activities at Museum of London Docklands

21 – 22 January 2023

The Museum of London Docklands are running a packed programme over the Lunar New Year weekend, with free activities for the whole family. Enjoy free arts and crafts, workshops and performances, celebratory community activities and discover the museum’s historic connection to this celebration.

Drop-in activities will be taking place all day between 11am and 4pm. Activities (suitable for ages 5+) include ribbon dance workshops (sold out) and interactive storytelling sessions. Drop-in Year of the Rabbit crafts (suitable for ages 3+) will also be running throughout the weekend, where children help the musuem create a giant mural celebrating the Chinese zodiac animals or make an origami rabbit and other creations.

Performances for all ages include a Lion dance from a professional dancing troupe and Lunar New Year-themed performances by local ballet performers from the European College of Dance.

Check times and full details about the Lunar New Year activities at the Museum of London Docklands

Lunar New Year Childrens Books

Lunar New Year Activities at the National Maritime Museum

21 January 2023

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit at the National Maritime Museum with a day of live music, performances, lion dances and free family activities. At 10am, the first Lion Dance of the day will open the National Maritime Museum.

Other performances will be taking place on the Great Map at 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm. The 4pm performance includes the Jade Emperor Story performed by Global Fusion Music and Arts.

Related: Family Day Out at the National Maritime Museum

Drop-in Lunar New Year activities for kids (suitable for all ages and abilities) include making a 3D paper torii gate, creating a lantern or a hongbao and learn mahjong. There will also be opportunities all day to meet the fierce Lunar New Year lion and find out more about the tradition from members of Newham Chinese Association.

Check times and full details about the Lunar New Year activities at the National Maritime Museum

Chinese New Year Celebration in Twickenham

21 January 2023

Celebrate Chinese New Year in Twickenham with performances by Chinese Lion dancers and free family activities in the Diamond Jubilee Gardens. The Lion Dancers will parade from Twickenham Green at 1pm, making their way along Heath Road to Church Street, visiting shops along the route.

Drop-in activities at the Diamond Jubilee Gardens, between 1pm to 4pm, will include lantern making, calligraphy and a Chinese-themed Punch & Judy show. There will then be final Lion Dance performance at 2:45pm in Diamond Jubilee Gardens, plus the opportunity to meet the Lion.

Check times and full details about the Chinese New Year celebrations at Discover Twickenham

Chinese New Year Parade in London

22 January 2023

The Chinese New Year celebrations in London are usually among the largest outside Asia, with colourful parades, traditional dragon and flying lion dances and traditional Chinese street food stalls. The London celebrations for Chinese and Lunar New Year are in the West End, from Shaftesbury Avenue down to Trafalgar Square.

Chinese New Year London Celebrations

More than 50 teams take part in the London Lunar New Year parade, which features the largest gathering of Chinese lions and dragons in Europe. This year, the Lunar New Year parade will start at 10am on 22 January, beginning at Trafalgar Square / Charing Cross Road station, heading towards Westminster.

This will be followed by a main celebratory performance at Trafalgar Square with ceremonices commencing at 12pm.

Check performance times and further details at Chinatown London

Chinese New Year Festival Day at the National Gallery

22 January 2023

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with free family activities at the National Gallery, part of the Festival of Spring celebrations across London. Listen to traditional Chinese stories at sessions throughout the day or get creative and make decorations at the National Gallery’s Studio Sunday.

Storytelling sessions by special guest storytellers from the London Chinese Community Association will be at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm. Head to Room 34 for the Studio Sunday drop-in sessions, open between 11am to 4pm and designed in collaboration with children from the local Chinese community.

Check times and full details about the Lunar New Year 2023 activities at the National Gallery

Where to celebrate Chinese New Year in London

Lunar New Year Celebration at the British Library

29 January 2023

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with an exciting day full of colour, creativity and music, organised by the British Library, Burgh House and SiShu Chinese School. The free family-friendly celebrations will begin with a traditional Lion Dance on Hampstead High Street, followed by craft activities at Burgh House and special dance performances and storytelling at the British Library.

11am – 12.30pm: Visit the Burgh House (New End Square, NW3 1LT) for free Lunar New Year activities including calligraphy, a Hanfu dress-up station, rabbit clay making and the first part of an illustration workshop with children’s picture book illustrator Yu Rong.

2pm – 3.30pm: Visit the British Library for free performances and storytelling by the SiShu Chinese School, knotted jewelley making, ‘meet the curator’ sessions and the second part of the illustration workshop with Yu Rong.

Check times and full details about the Lunar New Year activities at the British Library

Chinese Folk Storytelling at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery

29 January 2023

In celebration of the Lunar New Year, Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery are hosting a special Open Sunday. Join Yuyu Rau from New Earth Theatre for an interactive storytelling of the Chinese folk story about how the mother goddess, Nuwa, created humans from the yellow earth. It is a story often associated with the 7th day of the Lunar New Year.

There will be two 45-minute-long storytelling sessions, at 10:15 am and at 11:30 am, which are free to visit and available on a first come, first-served basis. This is a drop-in event (no advance booking) with free access to Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery from 10am to 12:30pm.

Check times and full details about Open Sunday: Lunar New Year at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery

This post has been updated on 17 January 2023 with more family activities, workshops and events to celebrate Lunar New Year in London with kids.

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Lunar New Year in London with Kids